- Centering Revisitedby xk
Centering Revisited offers an update to the book, Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Rev. Mitra Rahnema. This video comes from the Centering Revisited webinar/workshop at UUA General Assembly 2021.
The 2017-18 UUA Common Read
In October 2015, a group of distinguished UU religious professionals of color gathered together in Chicago to embark on a radical project. The conference was sponsored by the UUMA’s Committee on Antiracism, Anti-oppression, and Multiculturalism. It started with the premise that discussions of race in Unitarian Universalism have too often presupposed a White audience and prioritized the needs, education, and emotions of the White majority. The goal was to reframe Unitarian Universalist anti-oppression work by putting the voices, experiences and learnings of people of color at the center of the conversation. The resulting book, Centering, captures the papers that were presented and the rich dialogue from the conference to share personal stories and address the challenges that religious leaders of color face in exercising power, agency, and authority in a culturally White denomination. Centering explores how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist ministries.
For the free online study guide click here.
- Fat Liberation and UUby xk
Fat Liberation and UU
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum, Rev. Molly Brewer, Rev. Julie Brock
Fat UU Clergy Against Sizeism Caucus Group
Taking Up Space: Fat Liberation and UU examines the following: Fat bodies are often viewed as bad bodies, even in UU spaces. A group of UU clergy will present a theological context that lifts up the worth and dignity of every body, of every size. Through facts, stories, and examples, we will equip congregations to question and transform fatphobia culture.
Sizeism (from https://www.definitions.net/definition/sizeism)
Size discrimination or sizeism is a form of discrimination based upon a person’s physical size, including but not limited to height and/or weight. Sizeism usually refers to extremes in physical size, as in an extremely tall person or an extremely skinny person. This can also be applied to discrimination against the fat and/or obese.
Definition of sizeism (from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sizeism)
: discrimination or prejudice directed against people because of their size and especially because of their weight … this is one way to dismantle the power difference society’s privileges grant us through such institutions as racism or classism or ageism or sizeism.
— Sarah Lucia Hoagland
… Hollywood horror stories about sizeism abound. Carrie Fisher said in 2015 that she had been pressured to lose 35 pounds before appearing in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
— Brooks Barnes
Sizeism is aligned with the social construction of the ideal or “normal” body shape and size and how that shapes our environment. In the U.S. we can observe many public facilities shaped by this “normative” body including; telephone booths, drinking fountains, bleachers, bathroom outlets (sinks, toilets, stalls), chairs, tables, turnstiles, elevators, staircases, vending machines, doorways…to name a few. Design assumptions are drawn about the size and shape of the users (height, weight, proportionate length of arms and legs, width of hips and shoulders).
Body-shaming, more specifically weight-shaming of men and women, is a widely known characteristic of sizeism, shown in the form of prejudice and discrimination can include both skinny shaming and fat shaming.
- Covid-19 Vaccine, Privilege, and Anxietyby xk
Covid-19 Vaccine, Privilege, and Anxiety
I see the Covid-19 vaccine as a privilege issue that is causing undue anxiety all around us.
There is a 1961 Twilight Zone episode titled “The Shelter.” The show depicts a group of neighbors, including a doctor who provided care to all the others, attending a birthday party at the doctor’s house. When a big voice reports an imminent nuclear attack, the friends turn on the doctor and his family. Everyone panicked.
Friendships between the doctor’s family and the neighbors evaporated fast. The Covid-19 vaccine, privilege, and resulting anxiety is real.
As the Covid-19 vaccine gets rolled out, I feel like something is awry. Did we hear a big voice speak and forget “we’re all in this together”? There’s a race to get the vaccine before anyone else. Did we forget we recently put others ahead of ourselves?
It will take time, but everyone is getting a Covid-19 vaccination. President Biden is doing all he can to assure Americans the shot is coming to an arm near them. Unlike previous pandemics, it’s not so simple as standing in line and being administered a sugar cube.
There’s a pecking order this time. Many of us must wait longer than others. Even in single households, some get the shot sooner than others.
Whether you get the shot eventually, it’s nothing to be proud of. It’s not a reward. As a minister, I say it’s a moment of grace, something unearned.
Unlike the Twilight Zone, there is no inescapable nuclear attack coming. People can stay at home, wear a mask when in public, wash their hands often, and limit exposure when around people outside their household.
I don’t mean to minimize the risks and deaths associated with the pandemic. Death is real. Being on a vent is real. So is watching a loved one pass away while separated by an ICU window.
There is a social justice aspect to vaccines. People of color haven’t been vaccinations in an equal ratio to White people. Many countries have yet to receive vaccines in significant numbers. The rollout needs more equity built into the process.
Many are at the bottom of the pecking order. They don’t have internet access to register. Some lack transportation to vaccination stations. Others live in communities where people consider the vaccine harmful. It’s reminds us of past episodes of public health gone wrong in America. They’re the most likely to contract the illness and dying.
Should we remind ourselves that just a few months ago our mantra was “We’ll get through this together”? Can we look beyond our personal needs, relax, and take confidence in President Biden’s pledge that all Americans will get the vaccine by late summer?
Evidence supports the president’s agenda. The biotechnology researcher Matthew Harrison of Morgan Stanley reports that 70% of shots distributed get into arms. That is up from 20% shortly after they released the vaccine. Secondly, “the supply of vaccines in the US has pretty much been on target with what the manufacturers were estimating.”
And finally, the vaccine is effective enough that “it prevents severe disease, it still prevents possible hospitalizations, and vaccines are still working against [known] variants.” This data ought to calm people down.
In “The Shelter,” the doctor’s family had built a fallout shelter in their basement. It was only big enough to hold three people, however. Because the neighbors couldn’t fit into the shelter, they broke down the door and forced their way in, destroying a part of the doctor’s home.
The best way to reduce fear is to challenge your thought process. , or at the very least controlling it, is to challenge your way of thinking. Pam Custers, a licensed therapist, says “It’s a balance between challenging thought processes and having healthy caution.”
Let’s be cautious and not force our way into the lines of vaccination stations. We may have to wait, but the shot is coming to an arm near you.
There’s a big voice out there speaking to us. It’s urging us to be calm. Keep calm; you’ll be vaccinated, eventually. In the meantime, be safe.
 Thoughts On The Market, “Covid-19: Variants, Vaccines, and the Road Ahead,” Morgan Stanley, February 11, 2021 podcast.
Natasha Hinde, “Coronavirus Anxiety Is Real – 7 Tips From Therapists On How To Cope,” Huffington Post, February 27, 2020, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/coronavirus-anxiety-how-to-cope_uk_5e395713c5b687dacc72dea8.
- Rabbi Larry Karolby admin
- Pastor Jared Carsonby admin
Take On Faith – November 17, 2020 KTAL-LP 101.5 FM
Pastor Jared Carson, Minister of Peace Lutheran Church of Las Cruces, is today’s guest. The Rev. Carolyn Wilkins serves as the guest host for today’s program. Rev. Carson discusses his own spiritual path and the charitable work of Peace Lutheran Church’s congregation. The conversation delves into the issues facing the Las Cruces community and the efforts interfaith communities can make to create positive change.
- Take On Faith – Jan Phillips, Guestby admin
- Take On Faith – Oct 4, 2020 Guest Sharon Finneyby admin
- Guest Post – The Mind is a Tool – How you use it is up to You! by Jean Waltersby admin
The mind is a tool. The question is do you use the tool or does the tool use you. — Zen ProverbMost of us will miss out on life’s big prizes…the Pulitzer, Nobel, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, winning the Lottery. But there are many, more incredible prizes for which we’re all eligible. For instance, have you ever looked at the night sky and felt complete wonder at its vastness; or merged so deeply with the rhythm and melody of music that your sense of self disappeared? Or have you felt magnetized by the light of love shining through a loved one’s eyes; or drifted slowly awake and lain quietly embracing delicious restfulness before opening your eyes; or sat by a river, listening to its steady flow, and entered into stillness. These are life’s small pleasures that transform an ordinary day to one of splendor, and a poor man into a person of extravagant means.Each of these experiences exalts the soul and is readily available to anyone patiently embracing the moment. It is a matter of deliberateness—being willing to deliberately engage in life in a way, and, with the motive of transforming an ordinary experience to a memorable one. Two Differing Views The opportunity to share one’s talents with the world seems like a wondrous experience and a chance to offer love in a grand way. But for singer, Carly Simon, who had incredible stage fright, it was terrifying. Before a performance, she would become nauseous and ill and even fainted at one of her concerts. She decided that she was not suited to be on stage because of her nerves. She routinely felt sick, her hands would sweat, and she couldn’t sit still. She concluded that having this problem indicated that she was not meant to perform and actually stopped touring because of it. Whitney Houston, on the other hand, knew that when her nerves were jangled, her hands were sweaty, and she couldn’t sit still, she was ready to go on stage. She believed her nervousness made her mentally sharp and she felt pumped! Both singers were anxious when going before an audience and demonstrated similar physical reactions, yet each interpreted them differently. So it is with people. What exalts one person will disable another. In other words, are you willing to look fear in the face and deal with it or let it take you down? Jean Walters is an International Best Selling author, Transformational Coach, Akashic Record Reader, and speaker. To contact her go to email@example.com Books are available on Amazon.com